Each day in the United States over 300 children between the ages of 0 to 19 are treated in the emergency room for accidental poisoning; on average two of those cases will be fatal. It’s not just chemicals in your home marked with clear warning labels that can be dangerous to children.
Everyday items in your home, such as household cleaners and medicines, can be poisonous to children as well. Medication dosing mistakes and unsupervised ingestions are some of the most common ways that children are poisoned. Active, curious children will often investigate—and sometimes try to eat or drink—anything that they can get into.
Thankfully, there are ways you can help poison-proof your home and protect the children you love.
Put the nationwide Poison Control Center phone number, 1-800-222-1222 , on or near every telephone in your home, and program it into your cell phone. Call the Poison Control Center if you think a child has been poisoned but they are awake and alert; they can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 911 if you have a poison emergency, and your child has collapsed or is not breathing.
Follow label directions carefully, and read all warnings when giving medicines to children.
Safely dispose of unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs and over the counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. To dispose of medicines, mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter and throw them away. You can also turn them in at a local take-back program or during National Drug Take-Back events.